Rice BIG gene is required for seedling viability
- Journal of Plant Physiology
- Arabidopsis BIG (AtBIG) gene encodes an enormous protein that is required for auxin transport Loss of AtBIG function not only profoundly changes plant architecture but also alters plant adaptability to environmental stimuli. A putative homolog of AtBIG exists in the rice genome, but no function has been ascribed to it. In this study, we focus on the characterization of the gene structure and function of OsBIG. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis shows that the homologs of OsBIG have high amino acid conservation in several domains across species. Transgenic rice plants in which the expression of OsBIG was disrupted through the CRISPR/Cas9 system-mediated genome editing were used for phenotypic analysis. The Osbig/- plants show high levels of cell death, enhanced electrolyte leakage and membrane lipid peroxidation, and reduced chlorophyll content, which likely accounted for the seedling lethality. Moreover, gene expression between Osbig/- and wild-type plants analyzed by RNA-seq indicates that a number of metabolic and hormonal pathways including ribosome, DNA replication, photosynthesis, and chlorophyll metabolism were significantly perturbed by OsBIG deficiency. In summary, OsBIG gene is integral to the normal growth and development in rice.